Add Grilled Meals To The Menu Plan and What Happens…..An Ice Storm!

This week I thought I would change things up and add two grilled meals to the weekly menu. Well, apparently Mother Nature did not think it was time for grilled food since the first meal I had planned also brought and ice storm that same evening. Thankfully dinner was done before it got too bad outside, but come morning this is what we all woke up to.

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(***Note: the bed sheet on the window of our son’s car is so he would not have to scrape his windows at 5a.m.. It works just like a tear off….sweet trick if you hate scraping your windows)

Thankfully, both my husband and son each stayed home from work and did not have to travel in this winter mess.

Besides that one evening of grilling misery, we also enjoyed a few more meals that were easy to prepare. Take a look….

Saturday: Asian chicken lettuce wraps with sauteed baby bok choy and mushrooms on the side

****You can read about my baby bok choy find here if you missed it.IMG_0430

Sunday: sweet potato quinoa chili (meatless) recipe here

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Monday: grilled chicken sausages, homemade coleslaw, and baked beans

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Tuesday: cheese tortellini spinach salad and parmesan toasted pita bread (meatless) IMG_0467

Wednesday: grilled chicken thighs, roasted broccoli, and rice/orzo side dish

Thursday: smoked salmon and orzo salad with pickled squash IMG_7808

Friday: out

That should do it for this week. I can’t wait to trade in my whisk for my hiking boots and blog about something a bit more exciting than food. Sadly though, I still find myself deeply searching for new and exciting recipes to serve my family rather than researching trails to visit in our area that we have never seen. Spring has not arrived quite yet, but for now I am just hanging in there and waiting patiently.

 

 

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In Search Of Activity Based Friend Time

Life has changed! These past 5 years have really opened my eyes to how much they have changed. Our son graduated high school, my husband has moved up to at least an 80% desk job from being on his feet all day for well over 20 years, and I have found freedom from being a full time parent. You would think all this sounds wonderful but I can assure you it’s been a challenge at best.

Let me explain. I have a small group of friends I talk to on a fairly regular basis. Although, after dedicating my whole life to work and raising our son by being a stay at home working mom I have found it really hard to venture back out in the world and meet active people. Key word here is ACTIVE!!! I have gone to active seminars, met people on trails, and seen people in camping areas with groups of active friends all out enjoying life on the trail, waterways or just simply working out in the gym together. Where these individuals find active friends is beyond me since I have searched and searched long and hard. Plus, I have found living in WI is of no help what so ever. WI is not a very active state and that saddens me to no end.

Don’t get me wrong, I love being with my husband doing the outdoor activities we love to do. However, there are times when either he is busy or I find I just need some friend time instead of husband time. And regardless of what is offered and where it is, my small group of friends are either busy, tired, too hot, too cold, have too much to do, want to but think they can’t, are sick, are scared to try new things etc.. You name it, I have heard every excuse in the book.  Although, they never seem too “enter excuse here”  to want to go out for a meal instead of doing something active. This is nice but not always what I am looking for. It’s as if they have given up on life and I just can’t go there yet. I am not ready to sit, get old, and die. I guess maybe I am not done living yet.

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All this is what led me to join a Meetup group in our area. I will admit, I am amazed by this new active outdoor meetup group that I found and I still have my doubts this will work. I suppose the only way to find out is to give it a chance and see what happens. So now I wait and hope for fun adventures to be invited to and the possibility of meeting new people that aren’t afraid of sweating, getting dirty or just having fun while not sitting on our rear ends.

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I scares me to think that some people are content with life with no adventure. What makes them want to get up every morning if every day looks just like the last. I understand the midwest is not all that great and there are much better areas to live adventurous. However, I live here and I do my best to make the best of a not so great situation….and when I can’t I plan a vacation to a better place. HAHA!

Anyhow, I guess you could say I have given up on asking for company to get out and enjoy life. Now I will just wait for the asking to come to me. Hopefully I will meet new people and have fun all at the same time.

Have you been a member of any Meetup group?

Did you meet like minded people who you enjoy being with?

Do you have two sets of friends…active and inactive?

Items That Help Me Survive Winter In Wisconsin

It’s no secret winter is not my favorite season. I suffer from seasonal depression and literally count down the days on a calendar until the clocks change again, daylight appears past 4p.m., and I see green grass. Once the holidays are over is when it really gets rough for me. Although, I have lived here my entire life and have found some things that I simply could not live without during the winter months. So for all of you making plans to visit us here in the midwest during the winter or for all of you thinking about moving here from a warmer climate…read on!

#1 Lotion: Once the heat is turned on and the water we shower in is turned up it’s like death to your skin. You dry out, you itch and it’s just plain rough on the skin to be out in the elements of winter.

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#2 Lip Balm: Much like our skin, our lips are every sensitive to the cold also. I have these little tubes of moisture in every little hiding spot I know…..SUV, car, pockets of all my jackets, next to the bed, in my purse, and even in my backpack if the urge would hit for a quick snowshoe hike through the woods somewhere.

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#3 Tea/Coffee etc: You may think being in a warm house you could drink anything and maybe so, but something mentally happens when it starts to snow and you literally crave something warm to drink. We here are not all day coffee drinkers but tea makes an appearance quite often during the days of winter.

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#4 Down: I will never regret buying my down bed comforter and my down winter jacket. They are the best investments I have made to help me survive winter.

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#5 Hobbies: I am not sure if you would call this a hobby but it does take my mind off the snow and the days that are so incredibly short and cold. We do jig saw puzzles during the winter months and its always a goal to see how many we can finish before the snow melts.

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#6 Memories: What once was will come again. I look back at my summer time pictures often during the winter months. They help me recall a much happier time in life and give me something to look forward to.

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#7 Exercise: You know it baby….it’s the only time I can break a sweat during the winter months. Sometimes I will workout twice a day just to feel warm.

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Are you from the midwest?

What is one thing you could not live without during the long winter months?